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What’s a Tony Awards ceremony without getting the chance to hug Tommy Tune?
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Helen Mirren won Best Leading Actress in a Play for her role in The Audience, and her speech was customarily elegant and confident. But what made us happy was the fact that Mirren is now just one measly Grammy award away from being an EGOT winner. This was her first Tony following earlier victories at the Oscars and Emmys. Dame Helen, get thee to the recording studio.
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Last year, Bobby Cannavale was the best Tony Awards live-tweeter in the business; this year, the past nominee was at the ceremony to present Best Featured Actor in a Musical alongside girlfriend Rose Byrne. "I know these two from my nightly imaginary threesomes with them,” co-host Alan Cumming said while introducing the pair. Next year, maybe they can all host together. (That’s what Cumming meant by threesome, right?)
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The Tonys didn’t just honor the past year of Broadway productions; the show also looked to the future. That meant a song-and-dance number from Gigi starring Vanessa Hudgens. High School Musical fans likely loved this one: Hudgens was introduced by former co-star Ashley Tisdale (and she even called Hudgens her “best friend,” aww).
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The first chills moment of the 2015 Tony Awards came more than an hour into the show, but it was worth the wait: 11-year-old Sydney Lucas sang “Ring of Keys” from multi-Tony nominee Fun Home, and scored the night’s biggest ovation to that point.
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After the wonderful Sydney Lucas performed her big number from Fun Home, Kristin Chenoweth walked out in an E.T. costume. “It’s FUN Home!” an exasperated Alan Cumming said. Jokes!
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Ruthie Ann Miles won Best Featured Actress in a Musical for The King & I— besting Fun Home fave Sydney Lucas in the process — and her speech was worthy of royalty. Miles read from her iPhone (“Please recycle” she quipped at the start), made jokes about her husband, and didn’t stop even when she was being played off stage. It was a DGAF moment of the highest order. We approve.
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Sixty-five years after her Broadway debut, 82-year-old Chita Rivera performed at this year’s Tonys, helping bring The Visit to homes around the world. The Broadway legend provided one of the night’s big show-stopping moments.
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Presenting Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, Neil Patrick Harris mocked his hit-and-miss Oscars hosting stint — including the failed lock-box bit he did with Octavia Spencer. “It worked so well last time,” Harris said to knowing laughs from the audience.
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Kelli O’Hara won Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for The King & I, and her wonderful speech was no match for how she closed things out. “I’m going to do The Worm,” she said, before dancing off stage to "Shuffle Off to Buffalo." We’ll forgive her for the awkward moves, just because after five previous nominations without a victory, O’Hara can do whatever she wants.
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George likes his chicken spicy, and Seinfeld fans likely enjoyed a mini-reunion on the Tonys stage between Jason Alexander (who played George on the show) and Larry David (who basically is George IRL). Alexander played straight man to David, who ranted and raved and called out Harvey Weinstein. Pretty, pretty good.
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Fun Home was a deserved winner for Best Musical, and the emotional speeches each producer gave upon accepting the award was terrific. Too bad the Tonys cut them off to have the cast of Jersey Boys play “December 1963 (Oh, What a Night).” Never heard that song before!
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Despite the unnecessary Jersey Boys performance, it did allow Alan Cumming to make this joke as he introduced the faux-Four Seasons: "A time when women were oppressed, trans was an airline, and men had cajones.” Oh, what a night.
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"Kristin, we feel you."